A woman who claimed that a black man attacked her in a Walmart parking lot, even posting photos of her injuries and inciting public sympathy, lied about everything, say police.
On Tuesday, the Columbia Police Department in South Carolina announced that in December, 26-year-old Kristen Michelle Rimes of Irmo was charged with filing a false police report and false swearing (to police) after she reported a fake crime. She was taken to the Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center in Columbia. The police department did not return Yahoo Lifestyle’s request for comment.
Rimes told police that on Nov. 26, she was assaulted by a black man in a Walmart parking lot. In an interview with Cola Daily, Rimes described sitting in her parked car, typing a friend’s address into her GPS system, when a black man came over and said, “Hey, girl.”
“I didn’t see anybody, just heard a voice. I said I wasn’t interested and I just rolled my window up,” Rimes, a mother-of-two, told Cola Daily. “I had put my car in park, and I didn’t think about how my doors unlock automatically when I do that.” Then she said the man pulled her out of the car. “I felt a hit to the right side of my face almost immediately after that.”
“He started tugging on my pants,” she said. “Then I suddenly hear another guy scream, ‘What’s going on over there?’ And at that point, the guy took off. The man who yelled never came back. I just take it as an angel sent from God right at that time.”
“I wanted to get home and get out of there,” she told Cola Daily. “I went first thing Monday morning to file the police report to pull camera footage, which I am so mad at myself for not calling them that night. I think I was in such shock.”
However, Rimes had enough clarity to describe the suspect: “He was a black male, medium build, wearing a hoodie with a jacket over it.”
“You always hear that people’s reactions are fight or flight, and mine was just to kind of run out of there,” she reflected to Cola Daily. “The world’s not as kind as it should be, and sometimes we have to look out for each other.”
Rimes recalled the brave man who supposedly helped her. “I would love to know who he is. He definitely is an angel,” she told Cola Daily. “I hold a big place in my heart for whoever he is. He allowed me to get back to my kids, and I’m very grateful.”
Rimes’s colleague posted images of her facial injuries in a Facebook group called “Citizens of The Town of Irmo, SC,” writing, “My co-worker! Bless her she’s been through a lot…so glad she’s okay! Everyone be on the lookout and please travel in pairs. I even call my fiance when I have to walk to my car from work just to be sure someone knows what’s happening.”
After Rimes’s arrest, the poster wrote, “Edit, yes I know she’s been taken into custody for false police report. Very upset.” According to the State, Rimes’s photos were passed around in multiple Facebook groups.
The police press release said that Rimes herself posted about the alleged attack on social media, causing “public concern.” However, it said investigations determined she was not at the Walmart location on the night of the reported attack.
Rimes’s Facebook post has since been deleted.